Want to know what does sorrel taste like? Some might think it has a bland taste like most green leafy vegetables.
However, we have news for those who think that way.
Sorrel has a tart flavor like lemon and is mainly used in soups, salads, casseroles, etc.
It has a distinct taste which makes it stand out from other leafy vegetables.
Before citrus fruit reached the European shore, people used sorrels in their dishes to give a sour flavor.
Although it may not be as popular as like back in the day, some people still include this vegetable in their dishes.
Keep reading to know to learn more about the taste profile of sorrel and different ways to cook with this green leafy vegetable.
What is Sorrel?
Sorrel belongs to the Polygonaceae family and is also known as the Knotweed family.
It looks like spinach leaves but is larger.
Besides, the shape and taste may vary depending on the type, as it has several varieties.
However, four variations are commonly used or eaten.
Garden sorrel: It’s also known as common sorrel and scientifically called Rumex Acetosa.
This one originated in the Mediterranean and European regions and is readily available in the market.
It’s a large arrow-shaped leaf known to have a sharp flavor.
Red-veined sorrel: Red-veined sorrel (Rumex sanguineus), like the name itself, has red veins through its leaves.
Unlike other types, this one has a mild flavor or no tartness.
Sheep sorrel: It’s scientifically known as Rumex Acetosella and grows in the wild.
This one has smaller leaves but tastes similar to garden sorrel.
French sorrel: French sorrel (Rumex Scutatus) is cultivated and sometimes sold in the market.
The leaves are rounder and have a mild flavor than common sorrel.
What Does Sorrel Taste Like?
Tasting sorrel for the first time might surprise some people.
A green leafy vegetable that tastes like sweet lemon.
Quite fascinating, right?
It’s a versatile vegetable that can use as an herb or green.
It’s fruity like rhubarb and herbal like basil.
Not many green leafy vegetables have these characteristics.
Some might be wondering why sorrel tastes like lemon.
It’s because of oxalic acid, which you’ll find in other green vegetables like spinach and broccoli.
Additionally, it’s a rich source of vitamin C, thus allowing people to use it for medicinal purposes.
Sorrel has a sharp flavor; having it alone can be overwhelming if you’re new.
You can blend it with greens like chard or spinach for a subtle taste.
The texture of this leaf is similar to arugula or spinach.
When cooked, it loses its vibrant green color, especially if you cook it in a cast iron pan.
Nonetheless, it’s an enriching green vegetable that blends well with most dishes.
Since these leaves are mainly cultivated or searched in the wild, sometimes you might not find them in the market.
In this situation, you can substitute it with other green vegetables.
Some of the vegetables that you can substitute with sorrel are:
- Mustard leaves.
These greens may not taste exactly like sorrel but share a similar flavor, especially arugula, since it has a tinge of sourness.
How to Cook with Sorrel?
As mentioned, sorrel is a versatile green vegetable that can be used in multiple ways.
You can use it for medicinal purposes or as a cooking ingredient.
You can also use it as a marination herb or a salad dressing like mint, basil, parsley, etc.
The sharp flavor brings life to the main ingredients, especially fish and meat-based dishes.
If you’re craving soup, here is how you can prepare one by adding sorrel to it.
You can use either sheep or garden sorrel to make this soup.
- Chopped sorrel leaves- 4 cups.
- Butter- 3 tablespoons.
- Water-2 ½ cups.
- Whole wheat flour- 2 tablespoons.
- Diced garlic chives- 1/3 cups.
- Chicken bouillon- 1 tablespoon.
- You’ll need a soup or a pot pan to make this soup. Place the soup pan on medium heat. .
- Add butter and let it melt. Now, add chives and let it cook for two to three minutes. .
- While cooking chives, add one tablespoon of chicken bouillon in warm water. Whisk it and put it in the pot along with sorrel leaves. Let it boil for five minutes.
- Use a blender to get a smooth texture. It will break down the leaves, which will leave a fine texture. Once it’s blended, put the pot back on the stove. .
- Add two tablespoons of wheat flour in half a cup of water for a heavy and creamy texture. Mix them and then put them in the soup. Stir gently and let it cook for a few minutes. Add salt to taste. .
How to Buy Sorrel?
Sorrels are often cultivated and are not found easily in supermarkets.
It might be available in farmer’s markets but less likely to find in your local grocery store, especially during the off-season.
Spring and summer would be the best season to get these greens.
Chances are likely to find them in the market.
It’s often categorized as herbs, and you’ll mostly find it in the herb section.
If you’re looking for sorrel in a supermarket, you should head over to where other herbs are sold.
If sorrels are not available in your area, you can plant them.
Order its seeds online and then plant them.
It’s easy and doesn’t require high maintenance.
However, watch out for critters and insects, as they may destroy the leaves.
This post serves as a guide to what sorrel tastes like.
We hope it was helpful and clarified your doubts about this green vegetable.
Sorrel is famously known for its sour taste, like lemon.
It has a strong flavor but blends well with most of the ingredients.
Because of its distinct flavor, it’s included in various dishes to give a unique taste.
This vegetable can be used as a cooking ingredient or for medicinal purposes.
It’s a rich source of vitamin C and other micro-nutrients.
However, if you have kidney problems, avoid having it excessively, as it contains oxalic acid, which may become toxic.
Regardless, it’s a refreshing vegetable worth giving a shot at if you haven’t tried it yet.
Go to your nearest local market to get this leafy vegetable, or you can cultivate it in your backyard.